Terry Glenn and Drew Bledsoe were teammates for six seasons with the Patriots from 1996 to 2001, and for two more with the Cowboys from 2005 to ’06. Glenn, 43, died in an automobile accident on Monday morning.
Terry Glenn was the best receiver I ever threw to. Period. I would apologize to the likes of Moulds, Keyshawn, Troy Brown, Peerless, T.O., etc., but there’s no need. They know it too. If confirmation is needed, just ask the guys who tried to cover Terry. They’ll tell you. Aaron Glenn was one of the best cover corners of his era. We played the Jets in 1999, and Bill Belichick, who ran New York’s defense at the time, assigned Aaron to cover Terry for the day. He put a safety over the top to help on nearly every play. My man still caught seven for 113 yards. He was simply not coverable when he was healthy and on the field.
Terry had the explosiveness of a speed receiver but the intelligence and craft of a possession receiver. His top end was as high as anyone, but he was a technician like Troy Brown or Wes Welker. He knew how to get himself open. Any time I threw the ball his way there was separation, which is a quarterback’s dream.
Terry was also incredibly frustrating. There were injuries, missed practices and suspensions. When he was on the field we couldn’t be stopped. The only thing that could stop TG was himself. I wound up pissed off at him a number of times. Until I finally took the time to understand …
My buddy grew up in the worst of circumstances. When I finally took the time to try to see the world through his eyes he told me, “Everyone I ever loved or trusted either betrayed me or died. I decided I just wouldn’t let anyone in so I wouldn’t get hurt anymore.” That recognition ultimately allowed him to slowly come around and learn to love and trust people.
I first met Terry Glenn after the Patriots drafted him in 1996. Robert Kraft took him over the wishes of the head coach. Everyone in the organization was ultimately glad we made the pick, but no one more than me. Terry set rookie records for receptions and yards despite being limited by hamstring problems early in the season. We surprised everyone that year by making a run to the Super Bowl. There is no way we would have touched that level of success without Terry’s explosive playmaking ability.
The off-field issues that followed are well documented. As are the injuries. (Terry admitted later that he knew his lifestyle caused his injuries. Staying out all night and then sprinting all day is a bad recipe.)
When we got to play together again with the Cowboys in Dallas, Terry Glenn had changed. He was more accepting. More open. We got to spend some time together away from football. We’d stop off on the way home some days and talk. Just the two of us. We even played a few rounds of golf. He was pretty awful those early rounds, but I wasn’t surprised to hear that he caught the bug and became a solid player. (Solid enough to talk some s--- about the money he planned to take from me next time we played. He definitely never lacked physical confidence. And he shouldn’t have.)
We didn’t talk enough over the past decade but kept in touch. I could tell that Terry was finally in a place where he was happy. He was working to help people with his foundation and making an impact on the world. His passing is a true tragedy. He seemed to have figured things out and was headed for a fulfilled life.
This is a truly sad day for me. Terry and I reminisced about how we would have rewritten the record books if only he could have stayed healthy and we had stayed together. We talked a few times about getting together for some golf and then grabbing a football and hitting the field for a few routes. I was really looking forward to throwing him just one more Dino Post, one more out route. We had a connection. I knew where he was going to be and could let it fly. I can see it so clearly even now …
The world will miss Terry Glenn. He had a lot to give going forward.
Rest in peace my friend. The offense in Heaven got a great receiver today. And a really good man. —D.B.